This work focuses on the development of a nanoparticulate system that can be used for magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and E-field noninvasive radiofrequency (RF) hyperthermia. For this purpose, an amine-functional gold ion complex (GIC), [Au(III)(diethylenetriamine)Cl]Cl2, which generates heat upon RF exposure, was conjugated to carboxyl-functional poly(acrylic acid)-capped iron-oxide nanoparticles (IO-PAA NPs) to form IO-GIC NPs of size ∼100 nm. The multimodal superparamagnetic IO-GIC NPs produced T2-contrast on MR imaging and unlike IO-PAA NPs generated heat on RF exposure. The RF heating response of IO-GIC NPs was found to be dependent on the RF power, exposure period, and particle concentration. IO-GIC NPs at a concentration of 2.5 mg/mL showed a high heating response (δT) of ∼40 °C when exposed to 100 W RF power for 1 min. In vitro cytotoxicity measurements on NIH-3T3 fibroblast cells and 4T1 cancer cells showed that IO-GIC NPs are cytocompatible at high NP concentrations for up to 72 h. Upon in vitro RF exposure (100 W, 1 min), a high thermal response leads to cell death of 4T1 cancer cells incubated with IO-GIC NPs (1 mg/mL). Hematoxylin and eosin imaging of rat liver tissues injected with 100 μL of 2.5 mg/mL IO-GIC NPs and exposed to low RF power of 20 W for 10 min showed significant loss of tissue morphology at the site of injection, as against RF-exposed or nanoparticle-injected controls. In vivo MR imaging and noninvasive RF exposure of 4T1-tumor-bearing mice after IO-GIC NP administration showed T2 contrast enhancement and a localized generation of high temperatures in tumors, leading to tumor tissue damage. Furthermore, the administration of IO-GIC NPs followed by RF exposure showed no adverse acute toxicity effects in vivo. Thus, IO-GIC NPs show good promise as a theranostic agent for magnetic resonance imaging and noninvasive RF hyperthermia for cancer
S. Fazal, Dr. Bindhu Paul, Nair, S. V., and Menon, D., “Theranostic Iron Oxide/Gold Ion Nanoprobes for MR Imaging and Noninvasive RF Hyperthermia.”, ACS Appl Mater Interfaces, vol. 9, no. 34, pp. 28260-28272, 2017.